Sales trainer and industry personality (as well as Dealer magazine blogger) Grant Cardone, has co-produced a reality show which premiered last night on the National Geographic Channel titled “The Turnaround King”.
The premise of the show is that Grant goes into businesses in trouble and assists them in “turning around.” The show is done in a couple of stages. First, Grant goes into the business and mystery shops it in an attempt to determine what problems exist. Then he meets with the owners and employees and creates an action (business) plan for them to change their circumstances and save the business. There were two episodes which aired last night: one involving a Gold’s Gym and one involving a car dealership.
The first episode involved a Gold’s Gym. In this episode, the gym is suffering from a lack of sales ability and clueless owners. They’re sinking fast due to gross mismanagement and hopelessness. The employees seemed to care more about the business than the owners. They were cheap selling their memberships due to the “competition” mentality. The owner’s sons (especially the older one) while “playing along” didn’t seem to buy-in despite him saying he did at the end. I got the impression that he was participating solely because he had to. It’s not a far stretch to guess that his buy-in lasted just about as long as the 5th objection he couldn’t overcome. In the end, the show touted that membership sales had increased 25% in the two months since Grant’s intervention.
I expected more out of the second episode since it involved assisting a struggling car dealership. Grant did seem more within his element and a lot more of his familiar quirks, closes and personality came out. I could go on and on about this dealership, but I’ll summarize it by saying that the salespeople were awful, lazy, had no product knowledge, lacked ambition and were not aggressive. The Sales Manager was a caricature of a non-leader with little sales ability. Bottom line, in my opinion, was that the dealership lacked leadership. Grant’s solution offered was basic: sell more. There was nothing new or innovative offered in his “business pan” to the dealership. In fact, the dealer actually makes a comment to that effect in the show stating that Grant didn’t bring anything new and innovative, but reminded them of all the things they already knew they should be doing all along. As in the previous episode, we were told that, in 2 months, sales had increased 25%.
The show is well made and in an entertaining format. Grant exudes his normal confident self without overdoing it as can be the case sometimes (anyone that knows Grant will know what I mean). I question the lifespan of the show if variety isn’t introduced into the problems and solutions offered to the featured businesses. Both shows had businesses whose ultimate issue was that they were experiencing revenue problems and, to no surprise, both of the solutions offered involved selling more (or differently) to overcome cash-flow issues. I would have liked to see Grant get more involved in actually training and implementing his action items, rather than just delivering them to the businesses and leaving them to handle it themselves. The 2-month follow up sentence offered at the end was underwhelming to say the least with both businesses essentially seeing 25% sales increases. 25% more of non-existent is not particularly impressing to me. If all it takes to “turn around” a business is to go in and tell them they need to sell more, he did a great job. In the end, Grant excelled at what he does best – entertain and motivate.
Both shows last night were classified as “specials” and not promoted by the National Geographic Channel as being a new “series.” That being said, Grant has indicated that the show is contracted for 6 episodes and is confident that the National Geographic Channel plans on picking it up. The show is certainly entertaining and worth watching.